President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has embarked on a visit to the Federal Republic of Germany to attend the 56th Munich Security Conference.
President Ilham Aliyev met with CEO of the German Eastern Business Association Michael Harms and head of the South Caucasus working group of the Association, CEO of Veridos GmbH Andreas Raschmeier on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
President Ilham Aliyev: Good morning.
Michael Harms: Mr. President, it is a great honor for us to meet with you here at the Munich Security Conference. I have participated in the conference for the last five to six years, and each time your speeches and views made a very positive impression on me.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you!
Michael Harms: That is, along with bilateral relations, I also mean your views on the regional and international order. We highly appreciate your meeting with representatives of our association. Mr. Raschmeier is the representative of our association for the countries of the South Caucasus, and I am its chief executive officer.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much for your kind words. For me, participation in the conference is also important. I have been visiting Munich for several years to do that. This is always a good opportunity to speak to an audience because the situation in the world and in our region is changing fast. We in Azerbaijan are entering a new stage of development now. Therefore, the discussion of these significant issues is very important. In particular, the bilateral format of my visit is very important. Numerous meetings are being held. I remember the initial exchanges of views in most cases leading to a number of very tangible results. As a result of the contacts established here, numerous trade agreements have been signed. Also, the necessary regional security, regional cooperation and energy policies are more important for the world. I am also very pleased to see you. As you know, we have very close cooperation with German companies. They have been operating in Azerbaijan for many years and have implemented various important projects for our country in the fields of infrastructure, energy production and construction. I think that there will be even more opportunities in the coming years because the possibilities of Azerbaijan, which has great potential, are growing.
Michael Harms: We know that you have introduced a strategy to diversify the economy. I mean the strength of Azerbaijan, and we are witnessing this in bilateral trade, especially in the oil and gas sector. This is very significant. I think that this is an advantage that ensures the competitiveness of your country, including your work in the field of infrastructure. For example, I visited the Baku Port. This is a project that produces a deep impression. A few weeks ago, I met with your Minister of Agriculture at the Green Week exhibition. This is also of great interest. Digitalization is the core business of Giesecke+Devrient. You have also joined the One Belt, One Road Initiative and are at the crossroads of the Silk Road.
President Ilham Aliyev: Yes, that's right.
The sides exchanged views on the development and diversification of the non-oil sector of the Azerbaijani economy. They also pointed to the importance of digitalization of the economy and creation of a regional center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Baku on the basis of the agreement reached between the Davos Forum and Azerbaijan.
During the conversation, the sides also discussed the plan on the development of Azerbaijani regions for 2020-2024, the work carried out in our country on the development of industry and the importance of a more active participation of German companies in this process.
In addition, the attractive investment environment for foreign investors in Azerbaijan was emphasized. At the same time, the sides touched upon Azerbaijan’s key role in the North-West, North-South and East-West transport corridors, noting that Azerbaijan had turned the potential of its geographical location into opportunities.
The sides stressed the need for conducting business forums with the participation of business circles of Azerbaijan and Germany. The parties pointed to the importance of cooperation with Germany in the field of vocational education in Azerbaijan.
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